Mardi Gras festivities degenerated into a small riot near Cal Poly San Luis Obispo late Saturday and early Sunday, leading to the arrest of 130 young people on charges that included being drunk in public, refusal to disperse and resisting arrest, authorities said.
Law enforcement officers from several agencies spent six hours breaking up a crowd of 5,000 young people who threw rocks, bottles and steel pipes at them. San Luis Obispo Police Department spokesman Rob Bryn said six officers received minor injuries.
Police used pepper balls, which explode with pepper spray on contact, and other nonlethal projectiles, to disperse the crowd near the campus after breaking up two large parties at a student housing complex, he said.
San Luis Obispo has one of the largest Mardi Gras celebrations on the West Coast, but city officials decided in 2001 to ban the increasingly rowdy parade. A federal judge ruled in 2002 that the ban was unconstitutional, and the parade returned to a daytime venue last year.
About 10,000 bystanders showed up in the rain to see the Sunday afternoon parade this year, Bryn said.